Canadian donations fund distribution of much-needed supplies in Pakistan

OTTAWA, Aug. 13 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Red Cross is ramping up relief efforts in flood ravaged Pakistan. A Red Cross distribution planned for Sunday will put much-needed emergency supplies into the hands of 400 families in the SWAT valley. The supplies, funded by Canadian donations, will include tents, blankets and hygiene kits.

"With over 14 million people affected and the numbers still climbing this disaster is the worst in Pakistan's history," says Hossam Elsharkawi, director of emergencies and recovery with the Canadian Red Cross. "With rains expected to continue over the next week, it is vital that we get supplies to vulnerable communities now."

Food and non-food items, emergency shelter, immediate health care and access to clean water and sanitation remain a priority for aid organizations. Once immediate survival needs are met, aid organizations will need to help communities rebuild and recover, a process which is expected to take until at least 2012.

"Hundreds of thousands of people are living without even the most basic supplies," adds Elsharkawi. "One organization cannot do everything, but we are in close coordination with the Pakistani authorities, local Red Crescent, and our global partners and together, through distributions such as these, we are reaching communities and making a difference."

To date, the Canadian Red Cross has provided $2.5 million in support of relief and recovery operations including the provision of 900 tents to survivors. In addition, four mobile field clinics and a seven-person paramedic team have been deployed to assist affected communities.

"Canadian donations are making a difference in Pakistan but more help is needed to allow us to continue our efforts," adds Elsharkawi.

Canadians wishing to make a financial donation may give online at www.redcross.ca, call 1-800-418-1111 or contact their local Canadian Red Cross office. The 24-hour toll free line accepts Visa, MasterCard and American Express. Cheques should be made payable to the Canadian Red Cross, earmarked "Pakistan Floods 2010" and mailed to the Canadian Red Cross National Office, 170 Metcalfe Street, Suite 300, Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 2P2.

The Canadian Red Cross is a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which includes the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Committee of the Red Cross and over 185 national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Our mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity in Canada and around the world.

SOURCE CRISIS IN PAKISTAN

For further information: For further information: or to arrange an interview, please contact Canadian Red Cross, Media Line, 613-740-1994

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CRISIS IN PAKISTAN

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